Call into your Ruby code! Writing voice-enabled apps in Ruby with Adhearsion - RailsConf

Adhearsion is an open-source telephony development framework with which Rails developers can easily integrate phone-related features into their web applications.

In the past when I’ve given talks on Adhearsion, people seem to be very interested in voice development but face the difficult talk of getting Adhearsion’s dependencies (mainly Asterisk, a software phone, and Voice over IP service operator configurations) installed and running. To solve this issue, I created a public sandbox that lets Adhearsion users share a single Asterisk server and a special Adhearsion plugin will tunnel only the call instructions through any firewalls they may be behind. Because the telephony parts of the application run on our servers (and not the conference network), the tutorial participants can call in with their cell phone and we’ll pass only the control of the call down to the Adhearsion application running on their laptop.

Though I’ll be working up toward the goal of building a complex voice-enabled Rails application, I will encourage people to deviate from my instructions and experiment. I think once people get their first call working (within the first few minutes of the tutorial) they will want to run through the API docs of Adhearsion and experiment. Because the code will run on their laptops, they can download any gems they may want to try or even start voice-enabling a Rails website they’ve already written. If someone builds something neat, they can tell a neighbor to call in and enter their PIN number. The end result I think will be an interesting amount of buzz about things people created during or after my talk while at Rails Conf. :)

If RailsConf attendees in general purchase tickets to find out about new technologies, I think many will see the value in learning how to leverage something they may have never considered within their grasp: the relatively new world of Ruby telephony development. :)